This week, President Obama announced his principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) during a speech in Las Vegas. The outline of his plan includes four major components:
- Continuing to strengthen border security
- Cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers
- Earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders
- Streamlining legal immigration
The president’s call for CIR to address the seriously broken immigration system was a long awaited reawakening of the debate that began in the late 1990s. It was a little disheartening, however, that the the president did not call for a new temporary worker program to address the real issue of why the 11 million came into the U.S. in an undocumented status. If there were a workable immigration program that allowed workers to enter the U.S. legally when there was a need for them in the U.S. workforce we wouldn't have the current mess.
It was reassuring to hear that he plans to allow the bipartisan effort in the Senate to take the lead. It will be important to allow a Democratic and Republican process to take its course.